None of them, however, had backing or recognition outside of their own respective geographic base-areas. The concept of the NWA was to consolidate the championships of these regional companies into one true world championship of pro wrestling, whose holder would be recognized worldwide. In 1948, Paul "Pinkie" George, a promoter from the Midwest, founded the original version of the National Wrestling Alliance with the backing of five other promoters (Al Haft, Tony Strecher, Harry Light, Orville Brown, and Sam Muchnick). This newly formed NWA Board of Directors wanted Brown to be the first-ever NWA World champion. During the reign of the second NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Lou Thesz (1949–1956), the title was further unified with several more previously-competing "World" titles, such as those recognized jointly by the National Wrestling Association and the American Wrestling Alliance.
In April 2007, WWE filed a lawsuit against Gagner, citing trademark infringement, as WWE owned all AWA properties due to their purchase after the AWA's closure.  In a move to sidestep WWE, former AWA wrestler Jonnie Stewart trademarked the name "American Wrestling Alliance" instead. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office later indicated that the request was abandoned in February 2008.